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Classical Classics









The Colours of Mozart

17 February 2019

On Sunday 17th February, Northampton Bach Choir joined the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the Derngate as part of their concert entitled ‘Colours of Mozart’. The title was intended to represent the different shades of Mozart’s music and the well-chosen programme did just that, opening with the charming and lively Divertimento in D Major – an energetic piece which showed off well the talents of the orchestra. This was followed by Mozart’s well known and ever popular Clarinet Concerto performed brilliantly by Katherine Lacy, the RPO’s Principal Clarinet. The appreciative audience truly enjoyed this first half of excellent music, performed with much style and passion.

Adrian Partington conducting

The conductor for the evening was Adrian Partington, the current director of music at Gloucester Cathedral, joint conductor of the Three Choirs Festival, and director of the BBC National Chorus of Wales, as well as being the conductor Gloucester Choral Society. Working under a conductor with such an impressive CV, we had to be on our toes and we had been well prepared by our own conductor, Lee Dunleavy – even practising singing in Latin with a Germanic pronunciation, rather than the usual more Italianate. Adrian had taken our final rehearsal and we had been told to expect certain parts to be sung without the score in front of us – but he was gentle with us and we all looked forward to the concert under his baton.

Colours of Mozart
RPO and NBC in full swing

Though the afternoon rehearsal did not go as well as we had hoped, the evening performance of Mozart’s Requiem – such a powerful and poignant work, left unfinished on his death and completed by Süssmayr – went very well indeed. We were blessed with four excellent soloists – Ellie Laugharne (soprano), Rebecca Afonwy-Jones (mezzo-soprano), Ji Hyun Kim (tenor) and Morgan Pearse (baritone).

As always, in the Derngate, the choir need to sing with power and passion to be heard in the uppermost seats and according to Lee, seated in the audience, we did just that. Highlights must be the powerful Dies Irae and Confutatis, as well as the tender Lacrimosa. Reports from the conductor himself suggested that the choir sang with ‘energy and commitment’ and word has it that he will be more than happy to work with us again. An accolade indeed!